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Health and Medicine


NEOMED gets $5.5 million for schizophenia treatment
U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy tells the Northeast Ohio crowd it's an important step, but government needs to invest as well
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


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M.L. Schultze
 
U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (right) spoke personally and politically about the nation's lack of commitment to mental health treatment
Courtesy of M.L. Schultze
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In The Region:

The Northeast Ohio Medical University is getting another $5.5 million grant to further its schizophrenia treatment program.

The money from the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation is going toward the BeST Center at the medical school, which is funding early intervention and treatment in four counties.

Congressman Patrick Kennedy II – the youngest son of Ted Kennedy, a former drug and alcohol abuser and author of the mental health parity act – celebrated the announcement, referring to Northeast Ohio’s long history of substance abuse and mental health treatment beginning with the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous.

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"You live in a holy land for those of us whose lives have been transformed because of a miracle that occurred here in Akron, Ohio. So I am honored to be here today and know that you are beginning to set the standard again in how we treat these illnesses that get dismissed in our society."

But Kennedy said the government needs to participate as well as private foundations, and insisted early treatment will save money in the long run.

The NEOMED program has been tracking nearly 70 patients diagnosed early with schizophrenia. Just  5 percent of them have been readmitted to hospitals within a year of their first treatment, compared to national statistics that range from 13 to 50 percent.

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